Sinn Féin leads poll as new survey lists McDonald as 'most effective communicator' among leaders

Sinn Féin leads poll as new survey lists McDonald as 'most effective communicator' among leaders

A new opinion poll as listed Mary Lou McDonald as the "most effective communicator" among party leaders during the election campaign to date.

The result comes after last night's Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI poll labelled Sinn Féin as the most popular party in the country.

A poll for PR360, by Amárach Research, has placed the Sinn Féin leader ahead of rivals Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin as the leader who has best communicated to voters during the campaign so far.

The poll was carried out on Friday, January 31, sampling 1,000 adults.

The question put to the public was: Which of the main party leaders do you believe has best communicated to voters during the campaign to date?

Ms McDonald came out on top with 32%, ahead of Mr Varadkar on 15% and Mr Martin on 14%.

The full result of the poll was:

  • Mary Lou McDonald (Sinn Féin) – 32%
  • Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael) – 15%
  • Micheál Martin (Fianna Fáil) – 14%
  • Eamon Ryan (Green Party) – 6%
  • Richard Boyd Barrett (Solidarity–People Before Profit) – 6%
  • Brendan Howlin (Labour) – 5%
  • Róisín Shortall (Social Democrats) – 3%
  • None of the above – 19%

"Her tone and ability to cut through appear to have struck a chord with people," said Dan Pender, PR360's Managing Director.

He added: "She has looked comfortable throughout the campaign and has connected with voters on her message that Sinn Féin are the real alternative to the status quo."

PR360's Director of Policy and Campaigns, Amanda Glancy, said: "The poll makes interesting reading for the smaller parties, which have struggled to cut through in the campaign so far.

"The three-way battle between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil, and Sinn Féin has dominated the airwaves, and the smaller parties have been squeezed out."

The stats come as Sinn Féin topped the latest Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI opinion poll, with the party at 25%, up four, while Fine Gael's support has slipped again to 20% while Fianna Fáil is also down 2 points to 23.

Monday night's poll showed:

  • Fine Gael has suffered a sharp 11% drop in support among middle class, middle-aged voters aged 35-49 in just two weeks from 29% to 18%;
  • Sinn Féin's rating among the highest educated and highest earners rises by 4%;
  • Support for the Greens has plateaued while Labour are down to just 4%;
  • Support for the government has slumped by 6 points to just 21%;
  • Satisfaction for Leo Varadkar is down five to 30% and down 21% since October, support for Micheal Martin is down again from 33% to 30% while support for Ms McDonald is up seven points from 34% to 41%.

Ms McDonald is due to take part in a Prime Time leaders' debate tonight.

She will go head-to-head with Fianna Fáil's Micheál Martin and Fine Gael's Leo Varadkar.

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